It’s the little things that sometimes make us so happy! I feel very triumphant this week as I’ve managed to get Autumn to wear a rug for a full 6 days without silly behaviour in the field! Sounds so minimal but I’ve been worried about her getting cold and wet, but I’m pleased to say she has finally realised it helps her! Hurrah!

This is a major relief especially as the weather is getting colder and the evenings drawing in. Bob was not impressed with the clock change and being ridden in the failing light last night, - I couldn’t believe I needed my head torch to get him back to the field at 5.15pm! Winter is well on the way!

Have to say though not too impressed with two purchases I made a while back – major wardrobe fail – I bought 2 new neck rugs – one to go with one of Arias rugs (same make and colour etc) but does it fit her – Nope!! The rug does but neck rug doesn’t!

Similar thing happened with Bob although his is odd – bought a neck rug to go with his 100g – same style, model and make of rug, even same weight and piping … but when it came to attaching to said rug - his one happens to be the model without the d rings!! Lucky for him it fitted aria so she had an odd ensemble but was warm.

I then decided to try Arias neck rug on Autumn as she’s a bit smaller and that one fitted – so Autumn wore a pale blue rug with a bright red neck rug attached! Oh well guess it all looks brown after a few rolls in the mud right? lol! Hmmm does this give me more ammo for rug shopping at Your Horse Live in a couple of weeks??? I think so!! I really cant wait to go again this year as it is definitely my favourite annual event – unlike my partner lol! Horses and shopping what more can you ask for?!

I’ve been out to a few talks recently, one was on horse behaviour at a local equestrian centre which was quite interesting looking at herd dynamics and the different ways of assessing a horses mood by various signals such as the ears, tail and jaw.

The other I went to was a BHS rider and road safety talk held at the local equestrian college which I found informative and helpful. There was a talk from the BHS Safety officer, two police officers and also a driving instructor who wanted to know how to best educate his learner about horses on the roads. It was good to get information about what was being done to help horse riders on the road to keep us safer and to also educate drivers and other road users about the potential risks and dangers.

We watched some videos that have been visible on facebook that showed some shocking incidents for some riders on the roads as well as some slides detailing useful information. We also watched the new video that is being released during the road safety week later this month (so keep your eyes peeled), and I have to say it did make me quite emotional, so hopefully it will have a good impact in relation to dealing with horses on the road safely.

It was definitely a good evening and very glad I went, we even got some reflective arm bands as freebies for when we hack out which was great! I would definitely recommend going to these type of events as its always good to hear updates and get the chance to speak to various people.

I am still nervous riding out on the roads as I’ve had a few scary encounters with drivers; but I do have to say I took Autumn out for a long hack last week end to utilise the extra hour (and because it was a beautiful and DRY morning) and every driver we encountered slowed right down well in advance, passed wide and safely and acknowledged my thank you’s. 😊 

I also encountered a very courteous cyclist who was very considerate and wanted to ensure that when she passed she did not spook Autumn (sometimes we have had a bunch who just whizz by so I was very grateful to the woman for her thoughtfulness). I definitely think progress is being made for road safety and just getting the word out there can alert peoples attentions and change their mindset.

We had a plan to take Bob out to the local equestrian centre for a bit of jumping at the weekend, but unfortunately the horsebox decided to rebel. I started it up the day before and let it run for a while to make sure all okay, then the next morning on going to start up, it kicked to life, then in a split second everything went off ☹ I gave it a few minutes and tried restarting to no avail – we could turn over but there just wasn’t the last kick to start the engine.

Despite me protesting it was not the battery to everyone’s suggestion we tried jumping it – still didn’t start. We called the Breakdown recovery company (who came out very quickly and I’m so grateful to have Home start on it!), and he tested the battery etc – all fine….then found the problem – pretty much one of the most expensive you can have – the timing belt had snapped argh!!

So the horsebox is now going for some rehab and recovery at a local garage in the next week to have the damage assessed and then the repairs done! The only saving grace is this happened at home on start-up – so not on a road with a horse in the back! Very grateful to the recovery team and looking forward to getting the box fixed and ready for us to go back out again!

Fingers crossed the damage isn’t too bad and we are back on the road soon.

Paula and the troublesome trio signature

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